Virginia City, M.T. Jan 8th 1869
My Dear Josie
I have ben here under the doctors care for three days Past but thank the lord I am much better now. I was quite sick for two days. I come home from Helena on horse back and was caught out in a snow storm on the rainge. I cought a serios cold. I think that was the cause of my sickness. I now think I will go home to Rochester on the tenth or twelveth. Now don't think I am worse than I am for I am now comparitable well now which you can see by my own writing. I have only received two letters from you since I got home but I am expecting the third one every day for it seems like it has ben a month since I heard from you. In fact I believe I am more anxious to hear from you now that I ever was before I went East to see you, for to tell the truth if it had not of ben for you I would not of went East last fall. Sure all though I was not with you muchy but I was disappointed when I went home I did not fin everything Just as I expected to find you with your mind all made up to say yes or no, but you was as far from saying yes when I went home as you was the first time I wrote you on the subject. But now you are different to me you are always on my mind but at one time while I was in Dixon I tried in every way I could to forget you but no I could not and now I would not forget you for all of Montanas treasures nor People. Mr. Warms folks have all moved down to Rochester. Mrs. Wann is most well of her hurt. I am stoping at a Hotel a nice place for a sick man but I will be all rite in a few days and go back to my cabin Home. Write me oftain and soon. Give all the folks my love except what you want.
I remain as ever your truly.
Zack, Rochester M.T.
Rochester, M.T. Jan 16th 1869
My Dear Josie
I know you will be surprised when you receive my letter of the 14th and don't find the Photographs as I told you in the letter. But it is my own falt - I forgot to put them in and so I will send them by this mail. I think that this is the second time I have done the same thing with you but if you will excuse me this time I will try and do better next time. I know you will for you have always forgiven me. Yet afore and I know you will this time wont you. I will send you a paper by this mail with a Rochester letter in it. I will write you again soon and oftain and I know you will do the same. Remember me to all of your folks and write me oftain.
Yours as ever. Z. D. Mathuss
P.S. Dear Josie don't forget one who is far from you and one who thinks of you oftain and oftain dreams of you. I truly expect to come back next fall for what Purpis you know well.
Yours Truly, Zack
Rochester, M.T. Jan 22, 1869
My Dear Josie,
Your veary kind and dear letter of Jan 6th come duly to hand this p.m. and now I am answering it with Pleasure. Don't you think I am prompt. I am sure that you are the only thing that is a mistery to me is how such a story could get to you as the one about the mules will you be Kind enough to tell me where and by whom you heard it. I think it must of come from the same source that the one come about me being drunk in the streets of Virginia. Now my Dear dont fail to tell me all about it in your next letter to me. My Room mate is veary sick tonight and he wishes for home all the time. I wish he could be thare for he tells me of his mother and says that she will be most crazy when she hears of his sickness. I think he will be better soon. He is a reil nice young man. If all goes well he and I will come down the river together next fall or on the Rail Road. The Mr. & Mrs. Wann that come out with me start for home on the next Monday which will be on the 26. The Mrs. Wanns and the Mr. Wann that live here and my self was out yesterday on a Rabit chase with Dogs on horse back. I think you would like it veary much. I think it is splendid sport. Mrs. Wanns made the wish oftain that Mrs. Mathuss or that was to be was with us. I have got a splendid aniamel to wride. Mrs. Wann rides her oftain. The whole Partie is going out tomorrow on another chace which will be the last ride that we will all take together for some time and you dont know how I wish you could be with us or with me. Anther thing the horse I have I did not steal eather as the Joke goes or as you heard it. In my last letter I sent you the Photos that I have spoke of so oftain and don't fail to send yours in return soon. I expect to commence work in the mines on the 26 of this month or put on a forse of men to work and will probely to veary Bisey the rest of the winter and I dont expect to have meny more rides after tomorrow. I am veary sorry to hear of the deth of Mrs. Tenney but then we must all go when our time comes whether we are redy or not. Give your folks my regards. I have only received two or three copies of the Telegraph since I got back. You say you think I am veary lonely at times. Well to be true with you I am at times veary much so. I think I am all alone in the world. No one to care for me or for me to care for. But now it is different thare is one for me to care for and I think that person cares for me and that person is no other than your self. If I could only see you and talk with you for one hour I would like it so much. I have got lots of questions to ask you when we meet once more. You say thare has ben agrate meny changes take place in the last year that is all true. I truly hope one that taken place may never be regretted by eather you or my self. You say you are happy. I cant say I am. I would be if I could be with you this evening. And was to remain with you for that is the most of my thoughts now. No my dear let me hear from you oftain I remain as ever your true friend.
Those that truly love can never forget. Zack
Home Sabbath Afternoon Jan 24th 1869
My Dear Zack,
Sitting alone in my room this afternoon I cannot help but think Ė think Ė think, and many times do my thoughts wander over the plains and mountains to a little village situated between mountains, and in that village one little cabin and in that cabin, one good generous hearted man, who perhaps is writing or thinking of Josie at this very time. I hope he is in no worse employment. No Zack I do not think you would do what is not right on the Sabbath day. Zack if for no other reason, let your love for me and your respect for my wishes be as a barrier against what is a sin, but rather would I have it for the promotion of your own self than for me. I do not fear for you, for I think you have respect enough for yourself to keep holy and sacred the name of god as well as his teachings but my daily prayer to keep you from timtation will always continue the same. If I did not love you I could not be so interested in your welfare. Therefore I hope Zack will pardon me, if my letters are sober and dry wonít he? You receive the Dixon paper and from there get all the news. It is useless for me to repeat it. Zack I am extremely happy ever since, our engagement. I have not once had occasion to regret the step. Of course I should be much happier if you were here where I could see you and talk instead of write, but thanks to germins who invented this mode of communication.
I received a letter from you last week in which you said you were sick. I was very sorry to hear it and hope you have fully recovered ere this. It was rather a venturesome ride, so far and on horseback. Your better not try many more such rides if you are to pay in that way. I donít like to hear of your being sick so away. If you had such delightful weather there as we have, there would not be so much danger. This month it has been more like spring than winter. Perhaps we will pay for it before spring. I have had some such delightful rides this nice weather. I have a horse and buggy at my service and I make good use of the. It is getting so dark I can scarcely see the lines and almost time to go to church. I wish you were here you might go with me. But as it is I must be excused if I go with some other fellow (Charly Wynn). Please write to me very soon, for I do love you, and your letters.
Good night. Many kisses. Your own Josie
In my Room, Friday Eve. Jan 29th 1869
It is quite late but nevertheless will commence a letter to you. I wrote to you last Sunday and now another aint I doing well?
I have just returned from hearing the Alleganians or Swiss Bell Ringers enjoyed it ever so much. The singing was splendid. I would give a good deal to have a voice like the one I heard tonight. I should then not hesitate to sing for Zack whenever he wished it. I am going to commence taking music lessons again as soon as the days get a little longer. I want to know a little more of music before I commit myself in your keeping. I think music adds so much toward happiness in a family. Music cheers and comforts when words will not.
Zack do you remember the minister you met here? A widower well advanced in years. You had better keep a watch over Josie. He is here again and they have been out riding in the county today. There is no telling what it will amount to if you do not see after her soon. You had better let somebody as a watch in your absence ďahemĒ.
I received a real sweet and long letter from you this week for which I am ever so much obliged. Also received a short one with Mr. and Mrs. Wanns photos. Will you please remember me to them and say I am very thankful. I hope to send a better one of myself soon. I think Mr. Wann must be a very sweet woman Judging from her picture, and I think Mr. Wann is right gay looking man. Should like very much to become acquainted with them some time if they ever come east. I never expect to get so far west, unless you prefer ___ving there to here, which I donítí believe you do. You speak of coming home before fall. Of course I should be delighted but naughty boy, donít you come back until you have whiskers again. What made you shave them off? I think you must look comical. Dear Zack I am getting very sleepy. I know you will excuse me if I finish this letter some other time. It is after eleven and I donít want to give you a sleepy letter. So good night Dear. Pleasant dreams. I am thou shleepy.
Saturday morning, before day break. I wonder if Zack is up so early as I am this morning. I attended a right gay party last Tuesday night. A reception give for Kattie Loveland who returned from London last month. It was a very large party and much more sociable than most large parties, although a regular kid glove affair. They were not stiff. I enjoyed it very much.
Mr. Wanns must be quite comfortable from your description of the house. I really should like to share with you your invitations to tea for I have no doubt I should enjoy Mrs. Wanns Society but most of all yours.
Harry Powers has been coming up here quite frequent of late but I can hardly expect him any more as Mollie has returned to Chicago. What do you think of that but donítí mention to him that I told you. You speak of your Room mates contemplated marriage. What will you do when he leaves you? Will you be left entirely alone?
Dear Zack I was so glad to hear the words of encouragement in your last and long letter. I hope you may be able to continue in well doing. I do not think you rough, only like so many many others careless in regard to religion. But I think you mean to do what is right and I will be happy in that belief. I know your circumstances were rather discouraging by losing your father and mother so young that was a great misfortune. But of course it must have been for the best for God never does any which he thinks will not benefit us in some way. You are a dear good boy (or man) and I love your very much. When I said boy I was thinking of your being without whiskers which necessarily must make you look somewhat boyish. That is why I want you to have whiskers when you come to see me. I feel very gay and happy this morning. I guess it must be because I am up so early. But it is nearly breakfast time and I must hurry through with my letter. The widower teases me considerable about getting so many letters from Rochester. He knows who their from and he gets a good many from the Office. He knows how often they come.
Zack I am rather short of paper is why I use this half sheet. Will have to lay in a fresh supply.
Hoping to hear from you soon I will bid you good bye Ė with much love and Kiss.
Your Own Josie
Cabin Home Rochester, M.T. Feb 2, 1869
My Dear Josie
I will do as I wish to be done by now. Have not had a letter from you since the 22 of Jan which seems like a long time to me since I left you for I am much more entitle to letter from you now than before I come east. Now my Dear don't thik that I am finding falt with you for not writing for I am sure that you will write to me oftain as once a week at least now wont you. I had two letters from Harrie by todays mail in which he tells me that Mollie Wood is visiting with you. I hope you are boath enjoying your selves which I am sure you will. I should Judge by H - letters that he and Mollie was on good term once more. I have just ben looking over your letters to me since I come back to my mountain home. I have received five from you and written you at least ten and I can assure you that it is a pleasure to me to look over your letters since I come home. I am all along in my came now the young man that was sick here is quite well and now rooms over at Wanns the Mr. & Mrs. Wann that come out with me has left for Colorado where theay will remaine for about ten days and then for their home in New York. We are having delitfull wether here yet now. Snow at all in the Baison but Plenty up in the mountains. We had the Preast here yesterday from Va City. I did not attend church for his doctoring don't suit Zack. Theay all so had two Dances in R last week but I did not atten eather of them. I would rather spend my evening in my cabin than attend eny of there Parties in Montana. If you was with me by then it would be different. I then would not refuse to attend Parties with you. Write and tell me how Harrie and Mollie gets along and give Mollie my regards if she is with you on recept of this letter. I cant give her my love as she once did me for I have give all my love to anther now but I think Mollie is a Dear good nice girl and hope her and H may make up and get married and settle down for I once more say that I think it will be the making of H. I bring my letter to a close as it is getting late and I have run out of news for this time. I will write again soon and hope you will do the same. Give all of your folks my love. All except what you want I will expect that Photo for Mrs. Wann soon as I have sent their some time since.
Good nite my Dear. Plesant dreams from one who thinks of you constantly.
Cabin Home Feb 6th 1869
My Dearest Friend
Your veary kind and loving letter of Jan 15 come to hand by last mail and has ben red and re red by Zack. I expect you and Mollie are having a gay time. I would much rather talk to you than write all though it is a grate pleasure to me to write to you. I am glad to hear that H.P. is improving all though he made me a Promise when I left Dixon and writes me that he still holds his pledge and dont ever expect to brake the Promise I hope he may keep it what do you think of his and Mollie new engagement. I expect Mollie was surprised when you told her of our engagement after me telling her what I did when I was to see her the last time but of corse you explained it all to her and told her that I did not tell her a falsehood intenenly. You asked me a question which I am sorry to say that I have not made up my mind as yet. And that is in regards to what kind of Business I expect to persue when I quit mining. I can only say that it will depend on sercomstances. How would you like to hear of me coming down the River next summer in stead of next fall. I don't know that such will be the case but I think some of it now. I have quit Batching. I am Boarding at Mr Wanns. I am going to Virginia tomorrow to be gone for five or six days. We are having delitfull wether here yet I all so found enclosed the gem for Mrs. Warne which she sends her love in return. I sent theirs to you some time since which you have received before this time. Now my Dear, Please excuse the question I am asking for I assure you it is a veary important one to me. Have you counsulted your father and mother in regards to our engagement. I remember well the remark you once made to me and that was that you would never marrie with out their consent or against their will. Now of course you will answer this question for I all ways answer yours. Now my Dear when you answer this letter tell me all and if you have not talked with them, of corse you know something near what their opinion is in regards to our union. Write to me soon and oftain.
I remain as ever yours Truly. Z. D. Mathuss
PS always remember me to your folks. Give Mollie my regards as ever yours.
Rochester M.T. Febuary 16th 1869
My Dear Josie
I returned home from Va City but on my return I find not letter from the one whom I love but as the mail goes East tomorrow morning I will drop you a few lines. It is now Eleven o'clock Monday night and I must say that my mind was never more unsettled in regard to my future Business that it is this evening. Here I am in my Cabin all alone no one to talk with or no one to Care for now no one to care for me. I am only speaking of this country. I have about Come to the conclusion that this mountain life is a hard one and that I will quit soon and return to those who will love and care for me. Dont you think that will be a wise plan for me to adopt. In fact I am veary lonely this evening. I f I could only see and talk with you for two or hours this evening and then be back here I would like it so much. I received a letter from Hery Powers by last mail in which he tells me that Mollie Wood has left Dixon and of corse you feel lonely as well as my self since she left. He all so told me of Jones failure which was nothing more than I expected to hear of. We are still blessed with fine wether here and I can assure you that if I feel as I do now you will surely see me before fall. Mrs. Wann wants to be remembered to you when I am writing. I am boarding thare yet she says that I am not good that she will write to you and tell all about me. She wishes every day that you had of come with me for she knows that she would like you veary much. I tell her that I don't think she will ever see you in this country. That is if I have eny thing to do with your coming for I think that I can find plenty of places in the states when I can live much nicer than I can in this unsivilized mountain country dont think the same my Dear. I send you by this mail the mountain Post with an account of reception that Helena folks give acting goviner James Tuffs of Montana and enclosed you will find a view of Salt Lake City one of Youngs residence and one of him self which is all veary naturill. I promised to send them sometime a go but have neglected it from time to time but of corse theay are just as exceptable now as eny time. Remember me to all of your folks and write to me soon and oftain.
I remain as ever your affectionally.
Z. D. Mathuss
Cabin Home Rochester, M.T. Feb 24th 1869
My Own Josie
As I am veary lonely this evening I will write you a few of my thoughts. I received a letter from Harrie Powers by last mail in which he tells me that Mollies folks don't approve of their making up again. I all so received a letter from Geo. Ball from Rockford but did not get a letter from Josie but heard of her by Henry Noble. We are still having nice wether here. To day has ben more like Spring of the year than winter. Mr. Norton and my self was out on house back after noon and had a splendid rite. I assure you and I dont know how oftain we wished for his ladie Love and mine all so to be with us. He is the young man that Roomed with so long the Book Keeper for the Madison Mining Company. I expect when I come back he will come with me at least he has promised to go when I do if he dont get ready before I do. His Ladie Love is in Brooklyn N.Y. now. Her folks have moved thare lately from St. Louis.
He received a letter by the last mail which contained seven pages of letter paper which I think is quite a long letter. I dont that I could find words enough to fill seven pages of Paper thare surely would haft to be more news than thare is now adays for every thing is veary dull in this mountrey country. I think times are duller here now than I ever have seen them since I come west first in 64) Mrs. Wann wishes to be remembered to you. I give them boath your message in your last letter. You say that I had better look out for a certain minister who is stoping at your house that he is taking my Josie to Riding and no one can tell what it may come to. Well I think I can tell Just what it will come to. When I meet him again if ever I will hartely thank him for his kindness to one who is so dear to me in my absence. Now dont you think that I am rite in my belief. Give all of your folks my Kindest regards. Josie I want you to get a Book and read it the Book is called Quest. (I dont know who it is written by but it is published by Carleton of 413 Bradway N.Y. I would gladly get the Book and sent it to you but it can not be hot here and I want you read the Book fir I think it is splendid. Mrs. Mann has the Book. It was give to her by someone of her lovers when she was going and I dont want to aske her for it.
Now my Dear write to me soon and oftain.
I remain as ever yours Truly. Z. D. Mathuss
Virginia City M.T. March 4th 1869
My Dear Josie
I will write you a few lines but there is no assurance of it reaching you veary soon as the road is blocked up with snow. We have not had eny mail from the east for about ten days and the report is that there not be eny for ten or fifteen days yet. I have ben here for three days but will start for R. in a few days more. It has ben veary cold for the last two days, but it is much more plesant this after noon. Mr. and Mrs. Wann was well when I left home. Thare is to be a Big Ball here this evening quite a number of my friends here are veary anxious for me to go. I donít think I will attend it. I have not heard from you for two weeks and now thare is no prospect of me hearing for two weeks to come which seems like a long time to me. But when the mail comes I will get letter by every mail from my love, wont I. Remember me to all of your folks. I received a letter last week from George Ball from Rockford Ills. You will please excuse a short letter this time for to tell the truth thare is no news here to write that would be interesting to you.
Times in Montana never was as dull as at the present time. I think veary likely that I will come east this summer. I have about made up my mind to that affect. When you write to Mollie give her my regards. Harrie Powers I suppose has left Dixon for Freeport before this time. Please write to me soon and oftain.
I remain as ever yours Truly. Z. D. Mathuss
P.S. I will write to you agane soon after I get home. Zack M.
Dixon, March 4th 1869 Thursday night
Why donít you write to me? Are you sick or what is the matter? I have not had a letter from you since the sixteenth of Feb. It is something so unusual I cannot account for it. If you do not soon write I will have to start West. I wrote a long letter to you last Sunday which you will have received before this. I have not rightly recovered from my cold. Tonight I have a very sore throat. The weather is so changeable that one is constantly getting fresh colds. It accured to me today that perhaps you were on your way home, that you did not write, but it is so much sooner than you expected that I did not give it much thought. Neigher do I want you to leave without letting me know when to expect you. The Telegraph boy came up to see me this week with a dispatch. I was almost afraid to look at it for fear of unwelcome news from you that you were sick or something to that effect. I see Harry girls often and I think remain faithful to his promises. You said that that you thought he and Mollie had made up from what he said, so they have and are to be married in the fall if Harry will not drink any more. Mollie is very happy indeed and seems perfectly satisfied with him. It seems rather strange to see them make up after four years seperation, but it is how that there was true love in the first. It is quite late and my throat pains me very much. So I will say Good night.
Pleasant dreams. From your own, Josie
In my Room, Sabbath P.M. March 14th 1869
Last evening I received two letters dated Feb 6th and 16th which I was only too happy to received it being almost four weeks since I received your last dated Feb 2d. I became very much worried fearing something had happened. The difficulty must have been in the mails otherwise there could not have been so much difference in the time. I am so glad that it was nothing worse. I should not become so veary (worried) is you have been among nine of your friend, but being there all along, as you say ďno one to care for me no one to care for youĒ But Dear Zack tho the distance is great between us there is some one to care for (me) and some one to care for you. Is that not so Zack? Just think when you feel lonely and blue that there is one who sympathizes and thinks of your lonely condition and will welcome you back any time you cam make it convenient to come. Whether it is spring, Summer or fall, only let me know when to expect you so that I may not be surprised too much. Zack I do not know how far you came down the River on your way home, but if you are near Kansas I would stop and look at the country. There is quite a Kansas fever here. My brothers are going out in June to see the country and if they can do well they will buy land in good localities and then Keep them a while for there is no doubt but what it will soon be thickly settled. Father says if he can sell he would move there. I say anything for a change. I am very much obliged to you for those Photoís. I think Salt Lake City must be beautiful. The trees add so much to the appearance.
Dear you asked me a question which you of course had a perfect right to ask that as whether my parents approved of our engagement. I have said nothing to father since you left. While you were (here) he commenced of his own accord to talk about you and in very plain words gave me to understand that he would approve and sanction anything pertaining to an engagement between us. Such a thing seemed to be satisfactory. About mother I told you in a letter I wrote about two weeks ago, which I supposed you have received one. This I will speak to her again very soon. When I wish a decided answer as well as yourself. For it would not be right to continue in this way if we never expected it to comsumate in marriage. I think I love you truly. Of course our never having been much together has some affect. We are restrained. After we have learned each other ways and dispositions, we can be more familiar. Zack if you are not affectionate you better cultivate it before you come, or be ready for it when you do, for I never can live with a person who is not so, in words and action.
Zack I want you to feel perfectly free in asking me any questions and talk freely for that is what I like and what I do. I had a letter from Mollie last week. She says she has not been so happy since she and Harry broke off four years ago as she is at present. I am glad she is happy. She wrote and told me how kind Harry was to her writes three and four letters to her every week and sends her presents among other things a handsome Solitair Diamond ring. I told her in a letter on Friday I had not hear from your for nearly four weeks and that I would rather have one letter from you than all her presents. I hope H. is not too extravigant but will be able to keep up as good style after they are married. As at present I donít believe in spending all the money in things that only please before marriage while afterwards there is not enough for comfort. Of course I have no right to find fault Neither do I, for I love diamonds as well as any lady. But you understand how I reason. He may come out all right, which I sincerely hope he may. Mollie is delighted. Thinks him sweeter than ever.
I attended our Silver C____ band concert on Friday eve, liked it very much. The Sterling Band and Orchestra were there and the latter very much reminded me of the Theater in Chicago. I hope I can go in to see Mollie again this summer and have as pleasant a time as I had this last.
Remember me to Mrs. Wann and tell her I think it would be a very good idea for her to write and tell me when Zack is not good. For you know I have no one to report but yourself. And it would be perfectly unnatural for you to tell any thing bad about yourself. I should enjoy having a letter from her.
Now Zachariah David do write to me very soon for remember I am alone as well as yourself and love your letter next to yourself.
So be a good boy and love your Darling Josie
Cabin Home March 17th 1869
My Dear Josie
As the Road is open once more I write you a few lines. I have not had a letter from you for most a month now but will expect them quite oftain now agane. We are still blessed with splendid wether. Mrs. Wann Mrs. Judge Hosmer and Mr. Norton and my self was out on Horseback this afternoon. Oh how I wished that you could of ben with us. We had a splendid ride but Mrs. Hosmer fell off but received no ingrie fortunately. Donít you think that you could ride on a level road with out falling off. I am sure you could, but Mrs. Hosmer is as poor a horseman as I ever see. But Mrs. Wann is splendid. I am in hopes you are enjoying your self and having as fine wether as we are blessed with. How is Harrie & Mollie making it and how does Mollies folks like the match I suppose Harrie is in Freeport before this time you will please excuse a short letter this time and I will write to agane soon as the mails will most likely come regular now. Remember me to all of your folks. I will send you a Montana Post by this mail. Mrs. Wann wishes to be remembered to you when ever I write. I donít know when I will come east. I am now thinking of coming by the way of California and if I do I wont be home before late in the fall. I wish you was here to make the trip with me if I come that way. I will close hoping to hear from you soon and oftain.
I remain as ever your devoted friend and Lover.
Z. D. Mathuss Rochester, Montana Territory
Dixon, March 22d 1869 Monday A.M.
My Dear Zack
I have been on a general spree of fun this morning so that my thought are far from settled and in no condition to write a letter but I will do it any way for fear you may think I am becoming neglectful of my far off friend. I have a dear friend from Freeport visiting me here will stay this week yet she came last Wednesday. That partly accounts for a part of the fun this morning. Zack today is my birthday. I have been made known of it in many ways. I hope I may receive a letter from you by todays mail as a gift from you, which I shall prize very highly. Father gave me fifteen Dollars toward music this morning. I shall try to make good use of it. I would be very happy if you could spend this evening with me. The evening of my twenty second birthday. Twenty two! That sounds old. When I will be on twenty third year I hope there will be no thousand miles between us then. Not a mile. Do you think there will be Dear Zack? I can scarcely realize that so many years have passed over my head. It seems such a short time since I was fifteen. Incidents that occurred then, seemed such a short time back, but such is life. I have been attending a series of lectures on the Holy Land by a Mr. Thompson. They were held in the Masonic Hall which is beautiful and the lectures were very interesting. The proceeds were for the benefit of the Masons. I had a letter from Mollie Saturday. She has been sick but is now better. I never saw a girl so delighted and happy as she is. She says her parents do not approve of her engagement, but she thinks they will consent to their being married if Harry continues faithful to his pledge. For Mollie sake I hope he may and of course for his own. It would be terrible for Mollie or any one that would be his wife if he should commence drinking after they were married. If there is any thing above all other that I fear and condemn it is a drunken man. I never could stand, to live with one who drank. I believe it would kill me. It is one of the worst habits one can become slave to. Dear Zack write to me soon and be sure and let me know beforehand when you are coming home. If you do not write, telegraph. I hope this letter may find you well and enjoying yourself. Remember me to Mrs. Wann and believe me always.
Your Own Josie
Cabin Home Sunday, March 29th 1869
My Dear Josie Your kind and loving letters dated February 8 & 28 Both come to hand by last mail and they are the only letters I have received from you since the 20 of February but now I will get your letters regular once more as the mails are coming regularly . Now I am much obliged for the explanation of yours in regards to the mules. My Dear I donít understand why you should have any fears in regards to my character for I am just what I profess to be. I donít want to deceive you in any way. Nor would not for the world and in regard to my Character in Montana I can produce all the proof you may ask for of me and of course you know what it was in Dixon before I come west. And as for using Tobacco I never did chew but I some times smoke but it is not because I like smoking it is just to be agreeable with the parties with whom I chance to be with an I am proud to say that I have no habits but what I can easily quit. And I can say that Gambling I detest and Drinking all so. And now my Dear I donít ask you to hold your promise to me if you find me guilty of eny of the crimes referred to for I love you and do not want you to be deceived in me nor marry me if you donít love me for unless I can live happy I want to remain as I am all alone. In this world I donít want you to live unhappy as well as my self. For to speak plain I cant say that I ever spent a happy day since my child hood days. If I have I donít know what happiness is. Some of as pleasant hours as I ever spent has ben with you. I have loved you since the first time I met you in )1862( but never told you of it untill after I come to this country. And now you say that I am loved in return by you for which I am proud of and hope the time will soon come when we will be happy in each others love and meet to part no more till separated by Gods will. I think I have said enough on the subject for this time and truly hope that I have said nothing to wound your feelings. If I have I will gladly apologie and now I will explain how Mrs. Wann knows what she does in regards to you. Of course she saw your Photograph in my Possession and at once asked me who it was and as She was a friend of Mine and a veary nice ladie I told her that you was a particular friend of mine and all so told her and Mr. Wann your name and then Mr. Wann is Post Master here and of course he sees all the letters to me from Dixon and on the other hand knows how oftain I write to Dixon and of course thinks that we write to each other often for ordinary friends and I am proud to say that theay admire your Photo veary much and think that you will make a good and loving wife for me. And as I am Boarding with them which makes us all on good terms and they often Joke me about you and I donít deny any thing that they say that is true and Mrs. Wann asked me to ask you to exchange Photos with her which you did and that convinced them that we was on good terms and not veary long ago Mrs. W. and I was sitting in her Parlor and woman like asked me if we were engaged and of course I did not tell her a false hood. And she says that she is glad for she thinks that you will make me a good wife and all so think I will make you a good Husband. This is Sunday we all had quite an agreement this morning at the Breakfast table about starting on Sabboth School here in Rochester. Mrs. Wann offers to lead the school if we can get it started. I am going to do all I can to get it started all so a bible class. But to tell the truth I am afraid we will fail for thare are three saloons in this place and theay do more Business on Sunday than all the rest of the week. And all business in fact is transacted in this country on Sunday more than eny other day. Thare is a good Templers Lodge started here but I think thay have only a few members yet it only commenced two week ago. I will let you know how we get along with the Sunday School. I have not Joined the temperance lodge yet nor donít know as I shall for I can let strong drink alone with our signing the pledge. I am glad to hear that Harrie Powers is holding out on his pledge. I have all faith in his keeping it for he promised me faithfully that he would. I will send Man a Montana Post by this mail and I have Borrowed a Book of Mrs. Wann which I will send by this mail to your which you will please not lend out of your own folks and return it to Mrs. W. D. Wann, by mail after you get through with it. I think it is splendid. I wrote to you about it some time a go but I donít think that it can be got as Mrs. Wann tells me that several of her lady friends in New York tried to get it but could not find any and it is a book that she thinks a great deal of but is willing to lend it to you on the above terms which I tell her I know will be Highly appreciated by you and promptly returned. Now my dearest friend let me hear from you oftain and remember me to all of your folks and tell your Dear Mother to have no fears in regards to my character for I will never deceive her Daughter Knowingly. I think of you day and night and remain as ever yours devotedly. Z. D. Mathuss Madison County Montana Territory P.S. One of your letter to me has ben to Rochester N.Y. by mistake.
Yours as ever. Zack
Cabin Home April 2th 1869
My Darling Josie
Your loving letters dated Feb 16 and March 11 & 16 all come to hand by yesterdays mail. I wrote you a long letter on the 29 of March. I am veary much please with the ansuer you give me in regards to your parents about our engagement for I assure you that I am Just what I profess to be and as for me being affectionate I can assure you that I am. All though I never showed it to you by actions. My Dear I feel as though you had some fear in regards to my carrictor you are awire that I am not Rich nor never professed to you to be. I am what I call a poor man without a home or relative but I have a true hart and two hands which has always took me through the world. I have ben veary lucky all my life by finding plenty of friends where ever I chanced to Roam but now I think I have found in your more than a friend. One who will think of me by day and night and one who will love and care for me all through life or at least until parted by gods will. I donít think the time is far distant when you will see me and tell me if I am not rite in all of my beliefs. It is my opinion now that I will come to see you in the corse of two month or less time, as times are going to be veary dull in Montana this summer. I think I will come back east and look out a location to settle. When I get ready for the move I think of it the more I want to quit Rambling around the world and settle down and enjoy life and when I can go to church once and a while. My Dear you asked me If I had told Harrie of our engagement. I have never told him that we were engaged nor I never told him the time that you rejected me in Dixon. That is something no one in Dixon Knew by me and I am sure that you did not tell eny one and I have ben sorry a thousand times that I told Mollie but that is Just my luck. If a ladie asks me eny thing about my self I cant refuse to tell them and it is always best to tell the truth. Donít you think that I am rite. I also Received five letters from H. P. by yesterdays mail in two of them he speeks of Mollie being veary sick and tells me all about the Dimond Ring and in fact all about the affair and seems to be quite happie in regards to their engagement.
I only hope thay may boath hold good to their promises. H. tells me that he still holds his pledge that he made me before I left in regards to drinking and that he is going in to Business at Freeport on about the first of April. I wish the Boy all the success he can have.
I told Mrs. Wann what you sed in regards to writing to you. She says that you needent be surprised to receive a letter from her some of these days. She is not feeling veary well for severell days now. She says that she hopes you will enjoy the book I sent you by mail. My Dear I would like to tell you a long story in regards to Mr. Wanns folks which has happened here in Rochester lately but I will wate and see if Mrs. Wann does not tell you her self. I think that is all that ales Mrs. Wann at present. But I hope theay will come out all rite yet for theay are veary nice folks. Mr. Wann now thinks that he will go to New York in the corse of a month or six weeks if he does, I think likely that I will come with him for my mining operations are not paying me eny thing at present nor infact since I came back. Now all this I would not of told you but you tell me in one of your letters to tell you all of my troubles and so you see that I have commenced in this letter by telling you that I am not making my fortune veary fast. I think some of going to Nevada Territory this spring but I donít know yet what I will do. You know I am veary fiskle minded in regards to Business matters. This is my second letter this week but I have not missed writin to you as oftain as once a week since I left Dixon and have written as oftain as three times since I got Home. No my Dear I missed one week soon after I got home when I went to Helena and one week when the mail was stoped by the snow. Well you say that you have sent me one letter every week. Well my Dear I have received thirteen of them and so thare must be severell on the road for me which I will probably get now as the road is once more open and the mails are comning regularly. Oh how I would lik to see you to night and have a good long chat with you and have you sing and play it would be much more plesant than sittin here in my Cabin all alone. But I hope the day will soon come when we will meet and have a good long chat about the past and futer of our lives. I will send your father a Montana Post by this mail. I now get My Dixon Telegraph quite regulerlery. I expect to go to Virginia on the first of the week I expect to be thare about a week but will likely write to you while thare and also hear from you. I am well acquainted with the P.M. thare and always lets me look over the R. mail when I am up thare. Well I think I have written enough for this time remember me to all of your folks.
I am as ever yours truly. Z. D. Mathuss
I love and think of you by day and night.
Dixon, April 2d 1869 Friday Morning
I received your good and loving letter of March 14th yesterday. I am disappointed again I have been expecting to see you home this summer but now it is not until late in the fall. But I do not want to complain for the trip will certainly do you good and I would not ask you to sacrifice that pleasure on my account. At the same time I am selfish enough to want you home. The trip will be a delightful one. Are you going alone? Or is your friend Mr. Norton going with you. Your horseback ride must have been very pleasant and I am sure I should have been happy if I could have been doing it. Seems to be quite a custom there to ride horseback. The scenery I presume adds to the pleasure very much. This morning there is about three inches of snow on the ground and has every appearance of a winter instead of a Spring day, but we have had some very nice spring days already. Last night I attended the High School Exhibition in the Hall. It was very interesting and I thought a great many times of Zack and wished he was here. I went with Mr. Johnson. My friend from Freeport has returned home and I miss her very much. I have not heard from Mollie for two weeks. I donít know why she does not write. I have not seen Harry for some time. Do not know whether he has gone to Freeport or not, but think he has for he was to go the first of April. I hope Harry may do well in business
Zack I wish you would write long letter to me and write often for it does me so much good to get your letters. The distance is great but that is all the more reason that our letters should be many. I am going in the country to spend the day. So that I cannot write much this morning. But you know my letters are generally long Ė longer Ė longest. Remember your Josie is here associated with a great many and she needs plenty of letter to encourage her on. I of course mean write as much as you. I want to receive a letter at least one a week, can I not Dear Zack? How I wish we did not have to write letter, but whenever you wanted any thing to say, say it verbally. But we have the consolation that we hope to have some other way of conversing some day and will not have to place I on black and white all our lifetime. The sooner it ends the better I will be pleased.
Now Zack be a good boy and write soon to Your Own Josie.
This is my second letter this week.
Virginia City M.T. April 10th 1869
My Dear Josie
I have ben to sterling with Mr. Wann and have ben here in Va city for several days. Mrs. Wann is also here and the people of Virginia gave a party in honor of Mrs. Wann last evening which I attended and think it was agrand affair. Theay also had a theatrical play here on Wednesday evening which we all attended. I will send you a full account of it from the Democrat. We will go to Rochester tomorrow if the wether fair. I have not heard from you for over a week but think sure that I will get a letter by todays mail. I have not had a letter from H.P. for two weeks. I think he must of gone to Freeport or is sick for he has written me an avrige twice a week except while the R.R. was snowed up. In my last I told you that I thought som of taking a trip. We my Dear I expect leave R. in about 12 or 15 days and thare is no telling where I will land first but I expect in Dixon. How does that sound. You may expect me about the tenth of May and so you need not write to me after answering this letter. I will continue writing to you until I leave here. I would not come quite so soon but I have a friend in Chicago who is trying to sell my mines and he write for me to come by the first of May but I fear I can not get my affairs arainged by the twentieth of april which time I would haft to start to get thare by the first for now that coach does not run through it lais over nights and so it takes six days to get to the R. Road but I think theay will change time about the first of the month and then Zack will start for Dixon by express. I hope to meet you at home that is why I write you that I am coming. I did think that I would surprise you but you asked me so sweet in you last letter to write to you when I was coming or telegraph to you. If you wish I will do boath. Now am I not kind. It is snowing out now as hard though it was the middle of January. Well I will cut my letters short as I expect to see you soon and I would reather talk to you than write although it is a pleasure to me to write to you. Mow my Dear let me hear from you on the receipt of this letter.
Remember me to all of your folks.
I remain as ever yours truly. Z. D. Mathuss
Home April 15th 1869 Monday Morning
I am disappointed this morning for I surly expected a letter and sent to the office for one, but no such good luck for Josie. I did not receive a letter from you last week either that is why II was so sure of one this morning. But I will bide my time hoping soon to receive one.
This morning the air is filled with fine particles of snow and the wind is whirling it in all directions which give sit more of the appearance of a December day than the middle of April. We have had some lovely days already this spring. I enjoyed my few days visit in the county very much.
Tonight I am going to attend a concert given by Camilla Urso the great violinist assisted by others. I wish you could be here to attend. I would willingly relinquish my company and go with you. I think It is too bad you are away, when we could be so much happier if you were not, but wait by fall sure if not sooner. You can come to see me as often as you wish and then you cant go again unless I go too. I mean away off to stay so long as you have been. I have not time to write much this morning. I only write to let you know I have not forgotten you and love your in much as ever. Now wont you profit by the example and do the same, if you have not time to write much in a letter although I much prefer a long and sweet instead of ďshort and sweetĒ.
My folks wish to be remembered to you.
Write soon to Your own Josie.
P. S. Remember me to Mrs. Wann. I have had no report of your conduct from her yet.
In my room Thursday April 15th (16) 1869
My dearest friend
Last evening I was the happy receiver of two whole sheets of a letter from your own dear self. It is the second long letter I have had from your since you left. I hope that the number may increase more rapidly now, and there may be no more short ones. Your Josie cannot express how happily she receives such good long letters from your hand, and so full of love as that one was. Dear Zack I donít want you to think that I doubt your Character, for I do not. I believe you are all what you profess to be. Mother does not doubt it, yet she fears not more from you than others, for Zack you know there is so much deception carried on nowadays, that even the honest are more or less doubted. But I love you and my intention is to marry you, not for selfishness either, but because you love me and I hope I may be able to always increase your happiness instead of diminish it. I have no desire to retract from my promise to some day become your own in truth and I hope too the way is not far distant when we can prove our love for each other by working for each others happiness. Happiness is the greatest proof of love. You say you have not seen a happy day since your childhood why of that Dear Zack? I thought you were a happy disposition not given to the ďbluesĒ you certainly meet with kind friends wherever you go. That should cheer and make you happy. You are so kind Zack to send me that book. I am deeply interested in it and those your pencil marks? The language seems as suitable. I cannot help but think you marked them if you did not notice them whom the book is returned I think Ralph is splendid. His love for Adelaide cannot be other but sincere or he would not overcome all the obstacle of her past life. She seems to be a rare specimen of the woman. I am so very much obliged to you for sending ti. The act on your part was so kind.
Saturday morning. As I feared, I did not get my letter finished the day I commenced it, but I was interrupted by company as usual. Dear I do not desire any Montana or any other proof in regard to your character. I have every confidence in your sincerity for loving me as you do. There would be no object in trying to deceive me for you as well as myself would life unhappily all our lives if either of us was deceiving. No, I think I know you as your are, and it seems I love you every day better. When in your letter you send your detested gambling and other low desires for pleasure. I could scarcely feel happy enough and my earnest prayer to our Heavenly Father is that you may always succeed in your resolutions for good and that nothing may persuade you from the path of Justice and truth. I am so glad to hear you speak of a Sabbath School. It certainly is a good undertaking and I earnestly hope you may succeed that it will improve and civilize your little village. I have no doubt and think it will be a barrier of the right kind to put a stop to some of the wickedness carried on upon the Sabbath day. I have confidence in your success if you commence in the right way not to fail. I wish I was there to help you. Mrs. Wann certainly deserves great credit if she will attend to the superintendancy for there is a great responsibility resting upon it. Do not give it up Zack. You may be the ___ of promoting much good. Zack I sometimes feel as if I was doing wrong by getting you to leave your business there with no certainly as to what will next be your choice of business. I would love to contrive a way by which you might remain until you were satisfied to leave, but I know of none. I donít want to stay here alone, neither do I wish you to remain there alone and you seem to think it out of the question for me to be there with you. So what is next to be done?
Oh Zack my heart is full of thanks to you. Man has just come and brought me another long letter from you how kind you are. I have may wish so far about long letters but I have not finished reading it. It seems like such a good piece of news that I had to write it soon.
There is a great deal combined in the work ďDarlingĒ. I hope I am your darling in sincerity and truth and that I may hear the title many times in after life. You speak of trouble that has come upon Mrs. Wannís. I am very sorry to hear of it. Wont you tell me all about it and not wait for her for it is hardly likely She would mention it. I hope it is nothing serious.
I am also sorry for your sake that you have not met with much good luck as you desired in your mines. But we cannot always expect good luck. The bad comes with the good as a warning that we must not put too much dependence upon worldly gain. For you know dear when we come to die wealth could not save us.
You now speak of going to Nevada Territory have you given up California? I donít believe you know what you will do but I do know that I should be quite happy to see you home in six weeks. But is there is any of the western country you wish to see you had better do it on your way home. Ada Martins husband is now here and they will soon be starting for their home near Denver. Ada thinks there is no place so nice as that. While I have been writing we have had one of the hardest hail storms I ever saw. Man brought some of the hail in and some were equally as large as a walnut. The ground is all white with them now. Fifteen minutes since the storm, it is raining a perfect torrent now. The water runs off the sill in little rivers. I like to see it rain real hard. It seems you have not received all my letters perhaps others have gone to Rochester New York. I must be more careful in the address hereafter for poor as some of my letters are I want you to receive every one of them so that you will not think I am negligent of my good Zack way off in the mountains alone.
Does Mrs. Wann intend going to New York with her husband? Yes, Zack you did right to tell her of our relationship for she being your best and only dear friend there you would not be doing right to keep it a secret and try to deceive her. Well I think I have done pretty nice at a long letter for a sick girl. I have not been feeling well all week and last night mother made me take medicine, which made me quite sick all night. I feel better this afternoon and hope soon to be well again. I never am sick any longer than I can help and very often do not give up when I ought too. I hope Mrs. Wann has entirely recovered. Remember me to her when you see her. She is your friend. She is mine too. I am almost thro with Rust and like it very much. But Zack do you believe there is such manifestations of love in real life. I do not think there is. There is love which may be just as sincere, but it is not expressed in that way is what I mean.
Zack I have only been three days at this letter. The last sheet I have written on Sunday as I was not well enough to go to church. The day seemed so long I thought I would finish this letter. I wonder what Zack is doing today? I flatter myself with the idea that I am claiming part of his thoughts. Perhaps he is writing me a letter. I wish you would do it every Sunday as you have nothing else to take your time on that day except the Sabbath School do not give it up.
Yesterday was mothers birthday forty nine years old and she received a very handsome sewing machine costing eighty eight dol. from Father. Donít you think it pays to have the birthday come around when it is so nicely remembered.
Well Zack I am not going to commence another sheet this time. Hoping to hear from you soon I am with much love.
Your Darling Josie.
Va City M.T. April 16th 1869
My Dear Josie
I know you will be surprised when you Receive this note since I last wrote you. I have ben out to Rochester and returned here last evening. I have left R. for America but will not leave here before the 20 or 25 and of corse you will get this note before I get to Dixon. I believe that this is according to your wish that I would write and let you know when I was coming. I left Mrs. Wann well and wanted me to remember her to you when I got to Dixon. Well my Dear I will not write much as I will see you veary soon. After the receipt of this note I think if I get off by the 20 that I will get to Dxon about the 29. I think about nine days travil will take me through. I have ben waiting for the coaches to change time. They lay up nites now but expect to commence running nites about the 20. If theay do I will come much quicker. And now Josie I hope I may meet you well and at Dixon for my business will call me to Chicago veary soon after my arrival at Dixon. Remember me to all of our folks. I expect the next message from me will be delivered by Zack on telegraph.
I remain as ever yours. Zack D. Mathuss
Chicago May 5th 1869
My Dear Josie
I am doing as I agreed. I have been down to see Mollie. I took Dinner with her yesterday and I am going down to tea this evening. My friend that I wanted to See very much from Montana left here for home on last Saturday. I will be out to see you on Saturday I think. I have not done eny thing in regards to Besness yet. I am waiting for Mr. Bates to come from New Jersie. I telegraphed him on Monday and expected him this after noon. I will stop at Mollies while I am in Chicago. I think Mollie looks much better than when I was here last fall. She seems to be veary happie. In regards to Harrie, I expect I will come out by Freeport to see H.P. I am making my Head quarters at 211 South water St. if you write to me Direct to me here in care of Vandusen & Sison.
I am truly as ever yours. Z. D. Mathuss
Dixon May 8th 1869
My Dear Josie
I arrived here yesterday Evening at 7 oíclock and went to call on you but met you on my way and of corse did not stop at your house. I will be happie to have your company this afternoon to take a ride at half Past 2 oclock. Please drop me a note whether you can accompany me or not.
As ever yours Z. D. Mathuss
Chicago May 11th 1869
My Dear Pet
I am in My Room all alone. I am boarding at Mollies and am Rooming here also for the present. It has ben raining here all day. The citisons of Chicago had a big time here yesterday after noon and speaking fire works in the evening. I was at 185 wabaash aveinue with my friend Mr. Vandusen and family and saw the Prosesion go by which was one hour and 47 minuets passing and my Dear I must say that I was a grand affair. I wished veary much that you could of seen it. Mollie is well and looks gay. She had a letter from H. P. this a.m. and seemed veary much pleased. I told her a long storie about our engagement being broken off but she would not believe it all for she says that you wold not do eny thing of the kind and at eny rate without writing to her about it first My friend Mr. Bates arrived here on Saturday night, but we have not done eny thing with regards to our Business yet. He is stoping at the Shermon house now but I expect that he will come down here and Board and Room with me tomorrow or the day after. I expect if he comes down here to stop with me that he will come out to Dixon with me when I come as he has expressed a desire to see the ladie of my choice which is no other than your self. I donít know when I will be out to see you but before long I hope. I know think I will be out on the 26 but cant say positively now. But if I donít it will not be because I donít want to see you for I think of you all the time My Pet. I will expect a long letter from you by tomorrows mail and I know it will be a good and dear letter for your letters are always such. I will write you again soon.
I remain as ever your devoted lover.
Z. D. Mathuss Care Vandusen & Sison 211 South water St.
Zack D. Mathuss
211 South Water Street
Care of Vandusen & Sisson
In my room Wednesday A.M. May 12th 1869
My Dear Zack
As true to you as to my promise, This is a rainy disagreeable morning, hope it will not remain so all day or my chances to get this to the Office are slim especially if I do not finish it before father leaves for work. Last night I wrote to Mollie and thought I would get up bright and early this morning to write to you. It is sox oíclock anit I early. But not exceeding bright. My mind has been filled with sad thoughts for a day or two and that added to the dreary morning does not animate me very much. I will tell you why my thoughts are sad. Yesterday I attended the funeral of a dear friend and old schoolmate, Mrs. Weimer. Her sickness was only a few days and her death sudden and as sad as sudden. It will not be a year till June since they were married. It seems extremely sad when we think of that such a short life of happiness. She had a very pleasant home everything promised future happiness, but alas! It was cut off soon. Such is life we cannot change it. But only hope that when the death angle knocks at our door, he may not find us unprepared. Lucy was a true Christian woman.
Well Dear Zack how does the world treat you this week are you happy? Do not study too much hard work. It may not be good for your health. I presume you feel at home with Mollie. She must take good care of you otherwise. I will be obliged to teach her better. I hope you found Mr. Bates waiting for you and may succeed nicely with your business.
Zack the breakfast bell rang some time ago. I must leave this for the present. I should willingly postpone the breakfast till the letter was finished, but donítí believe there would be anything left for me. My bouquet stands on the table beside me which reminds me very forcibly of our walk one Sabbath. The blossoms that we took from that yard are considerably wilted, but the other are nice and fresh.
Dear Zack do not think I am not contented for I am very happy. I love you better than ever and feel assured that you will be all to me that I could ask or are worthy to receive. Do not let the subject worry you in the least, for it des not me. If you always continue to love me as you do, and treat me kindly I shall be happy. I do not mean you must never reprove me for I often need it, but you know there are more successful ways than scolding bit I do not have any fears of that from you. I had several persons ask me yesterday when I was to be married. I told them they might expect it any day. I thought such an answer would hush them quicker than if I tried to avoid them. I shall expect a letter from you today or tomorrow. I am always Your Pet.
What does Mollie say about our quarrel. I donít suppose she believed it. She wont when she reads my letter.
Good bye, Josie
Chicago May 14th 1869
My Dear Pet
Your Kind and loving letter is before me. I am glad to hear you speak so incunguly in regards to our future happiness. Mollie is well and looks nicely. I expect Harrie here on Tuesday. I have not told Mollie yet for I expect he has told before this time she had two letters from him this week. Hasent written but one for most two weeks so She told me yesterday. Now my pet I know that you treat me better than that donít you. I am going to the therater this envening I wish you was here to go with me. I have not attended eny amusements since I come to Chicago havient I done well. I have not got my trade through yet and cant say wherther I will get it through or not yet. I donít think I will spend more than one or two more weeks trying to make the trade. I would like veary much to come out and spend the saboth with you to night but I think I will be out next week and I know that you will write to me oftain. Geo Ball is in the house some place. He got here at 6 this morning and come up to my Room and wakend me up and I did not know him for three or foure minuets. I donít think that he is to stay veary long. I think that he has improved in appearance veary much but I think that he is veary well for a boy of his age of corse I donít know only having seen him for a few minutes. Theay had a veary heavy storm on the lake day before yesterday opposite the city. I suppose you saw account of it in the tribune. Mollie received a letter from you but would not lett me see it. I told her that you would tell me all that was in it when I saw you and she nite as well let me see it but she wouldnít let me see it and then when I received mine she wasted it but no my pet. I would not let her see it. I have promised her to tell Harrie when I see him about our engagement. Are you willing my pet. Well my Dear this is a short and a veary poor letter but truly thare is no news to write. Direct to me in care of Van Dusen & Sison 211 S. W. St.
And now Pet do write to me soon and oftain for I remain as ever yours Truly.
Hubbard Place May 18th 1869
My Dear Pet
Your Kind and loving letter of the fifteenth come to hand yesterday and thare is nothing that would of give me more pleasure than the letter except your Presents. It is veary nice to write letters and receive them but it is much nicer to talk with each other dont you think so. Pet I am expecting Harrie here today. My friend Mr. Bates left here for N.Y. yesterday morning. He expect to Return on Saturday. We have not accomplished eny thing to wants forming a company yet now will not do eny thing until he returns. I was all through Lincoln Park yesterday in a Buggie. I went out on the north side with a man to look at Sum Lotts and on our way out we went through one way and as we come back we come through another way. And Pet I think that it is splendid and a Beautiful drive out thare and around the Park on Saturday afternoon I went to the matinee at woods and saw the vetor Room Plaid which I think is a veary nice Play. Mollie told me yesterday that she would go out to Dixon with me on Friday or Saturday but I donít think that she ment it. I now donít think that you need expect Mr. Bates this time but Pet you may expect me at eny time for I want to see you veary much for is no one whom I love to see as well as Josie. Geo Ball left for Rockford yesterday I think him quite a wilee Boy for for his age. Now Pet Please write to me soon and oftain or you will see me coming out thare veary oftain. Mollie is well I think. I have not seen her this a.m. but she looked veary well and Pretty last evening.
I remain as ever yours. Zack 211 S. W. St.
Hubbard Place Monday Eve May 24 1869
My own Darling Pet
Here I am al alone in my room. Mr. Bates has not returned yet. I expect him tomorrow. I recd a letter from you to day that was written on the 4 of March. It has ben to Virginia Nevada, Rochester M.T. and back to Dixon and from D. to Chicago and I think theay mite of set it some other place but thare was no more Room for directions on the envelope. I went to church yesterday with Mollie. I will be out to see you on Wednesday My Dear if nothing prevents me from coming. I have not heard from (?) since the 20th of corse it is only four days but it seemes like a month to me. I have ben her two weeks to day and onldly had three letters from the one I love. I have 4 new Peaces of music for you three of which I think you will like of corse I donít know whether theay are good or not. I will take your word and voice for Proof when I meet you. It has ben a beautiful day and if you had of ondly of here we would have had a nice drive out to the Parks. I now donít expect to spend more than this week and next trying to form a compay if I donít get it through by that time I will drop it for a time. Now my Dear I trely hope to hear from you tomorrow morning for I love your lettes next to your self.
I remain as ever yours trely. Zack
P.S. thare three Montanians here Boarding besides me. Mr. Pimey and wife and wifes Brother Mr. P. is the editor of the Montaina Post. He will go west in five or six weeks.
Your own, Zack
Saturday 11/4 a.m. oíclock Ė (Probably May 29, 1869)
My own Dear
I have just arrived here. If you have made eny arrangements to go to the Picnic this after noon dont stay at home on my account.
As every your own Zack
Hubbard Place Chicago May 19, 1869
My own Darling Josie
I am alone in my room and as I am thinking most of your tonight I will drop you a few lines. I expected a letter from you today but was disappointed and to make up for my disappointment I write to you is that not rite my Dear. Harrie is down in Mollies Room now. And my Dear how I wish that you was with me or me with you for I feel Just like talking with you tonight. I had quite a S______ last evening from Mrs. Jones and Mollie in regards to being affectionate to my loved one which is no other than your self. For Josie I do love you and I donítí care who Knows it. My Dear I received a letter from you today that was returned to me from Montana which was headed Dear friend. Now my Dear am I not more to you then eny Dear friend. I now expect to come out on Friday to see you. I think I will go out to Freeport with H. tomorrow am not positive. I may not get out before Saturday nite. I will know tomorrow when I will come. You can answer this letter for I want to hear from (you) every day if I could my Dear. I will close for this time.
I remain as ever yours devoted lover. Zack D. Mathuss 211 South Water St. Just as before
Zack D. Mathuss
211 South Water Street
Care of Van Dusen & Sisson
In my Room, Wednesday P.M. May 19th 1869
It is already eleven oíclock but I do not wish to retire until I have written at least a few lines to you in answer to your kind letter I received this evening. I have been sewing quite hard all evening and I feel tired. Mother is going west one week from next Tuesday and we will be kept quite busy but with all I must find time to write to my good Zack. This afternoon Grace Everett and I went to call on Nina Moore, but she was not at home. She is visiting with Mary Heat__m at present.
Zack I am very sorry you do not succeed will in your business. You keep up a good share of patience to work so long at it. I hope you may be more successful when Mr. Bates returns from New Jersey. It certainly must be quite discouraging to you.
I should like very much to see you this week if you intended coming although we are quite busy and it would be impossible to devote as much time to you as I should like. If you come out to the Reunion of the 13th next week I will try to get through with most of the sewing by that time. I am not usually so industrious that I cannot spare time to company Zack. Circumstances alter cases. However I will always do the best I can. I am quite sleepy and tried So I must bid you good night. You certainly do not want a sleepy letter for this is poor enough. I will write soon again and do you the same. Remember me to Mollie. Good night again Dear.
As ever Josie
P. S. Pleasant dreams. I do love you. Please excuse this paper I am now out of good paper and envelopes. Must lay in a new supply. Josie
Hubbard Place May 21st 1869
My own Darling Pet
I wrote you yesterday that I would be out spend the Sabouth with you but the Post man this A. M. I received your note of the 19th in which you spoke of being quite Busy so much so that you can not devote as much time with me. Well my Dear I will not come until the 26 or 27 and I may not come then but truly want to see you veary much. But when I do come I want a good sher of your time while I remain thare for I truly love you. I told Harrie all in regards to our engagement. He left this A.M. for home. I will expect a long letter from you soon. Now my Pet it is all your fault that I donít come out tomorrow, but I will forgive all this time.
I remain as ever yours devotadly.
P.S. a Kiss to the one I love
Zack D. Mathuss
211 South Water Street
Care of Van Dusen & Sisson
Home Sunday Afternoon May 23d 1869
My own Zack,
You have been very kind to me this week for writing so often. I received one Friday and Saturday evening. This has been a lonely day. I wished I had said the words to have you here for walking has been delightful. I have tried it and found a new retreat for us at our next walk we take. I went out with Will Johnson. He came up last evening and took Grace Everett (who was here) and I out riding as we had no choir rehearsal. I thought the eve too pleasant to stay in the house. I enjoyed it very much. The night could not have been pleasanter and three of us made time fly fast. How was it with you? Where were you last evening? I felt sorry I wrote you what I did and until I received your last letter I hoped you would come, but the second letter said you would not come. I hope you may be able to come this week. It is time to prepare for church. I will finish when I come back. By Bye
Well Dear I have been to the Sabbath School Concert and heard two very good addresses. Short and to the point, It is now after ten oíclock. I have been keeping pretty late hours last week and expect to this for we are quite busy. Old Mr. McKartey was buried today it was a very large funeral, like most Irish funerals. There were sixty-four teams in the procession from that one would suppose he had a great many friends.
I hope by this time you are succeeding nicely with your business and may be able to accomplish all you desire.
Zack excuse a short letter please, for I am in no letter writing mood tonight. I donít know why it is, but I feel restless and uneasy discontented perhaps it is of the lateness of the hour. But I am not sleepy.
Good bye. Write soon to Your Pet.
Hubbard Place Monday Eve May 24 1869
My own Darling Pet
Here I am al alone in my room. Mr. Bates has not returned yet. I expect him tomorrow. I recd a letter from you to day that was written on the 4 of March. It has ben to Virginia Nevada, Rochester M.T. and back to Dixon and from D. to Chicago and I think theay mite of set it some other place but thare was no more Room for directions on the envelope. I went to church yesterday with Mollie. I will be out to see you on Wednesday My Dear if nothing prevents me from coming. I have not heard from (?) since the 20th of corse it is only four days but it seemes like a month to me. I have ben her two weeks to day and onldly had three letters from the one I love. I have 4 new Peaces of music for you three of which I think you will like of corse I donít know whether theay are good or not. I will take your word and voice for Proof when I meet you. It has ben a beautiful day and if you had of ondly of here we would have had a nice drive out to the Parks. I now donít expect to spend more than this week and next trying to form a compay if I donít get it through by that time I will drop it for a time. Now my Dear I trely hope to hear from you tomorrow morning for I love your lettes next to your self. I remain as ever yours trely. Zack P.S. thare three Montanians here Boarding besides me. Mr. Pimey and wife and wifes Brother Mr. P. is the editor of the Montaina Post. He will go west in five or six weeks.
Your own, Zack
Saturday 11/4 a.m. oíclock Ė (Probably May 29, 1869)
My own Dear I have just arrived here. If you have made eny arrangements to go to the Picnic this after noon dont stay at home on my account.
As every your own Zack
Hubbard Place Tuesday Evening June 1st 1869
My own Darling Josie
I arived here safe yesterday noon found Mr. Bates awaiting for me at the deapo. I wend to Prair meeting with Mollie last evening enjoyed it veary much. My Dear I love you more than ever since my last visit with you and hope the day may soon some when we will be united for life and I will do all I can to make our lives happie for I do love you and want you to be happie. I will expect a letter from you tomorrow but true My love I am almost afraid to open it when I get it but I truly hope and feel that it will be all right with your Folks. Well my Dear my Prospects are some briter to day in regards to my Business matters, but not flatering. I feel in hopes that when I see you again that I will have my mind made up as what Buisness I am going to follow and then I can talk more freely with you about the future. Mollie told me last evening that she would write to you today. I told her what you told me but she says that she does love you lots. I did not Kiss her as requested by you, but will some time when she is married if not before. I will write to you again soon and oftain and I know you will do the same. Please excuse writing with a pencil.
I am more than ever your devotadly. Zack 211 S. W St., Chicago
P.S. give all the family my kindest regards. Hope your mother may have a safe jorney. Write me soon dear.
211 S. W. St. Friday, June 4th 1869
My own Dear Josie
Your Kind note of yesterday come to hand this a.m. I am sorry that you are so buisey that you can not write to me for your letters are veary dear to me. Nothing pleases me more than your letter except you company, which is more to me than eny one ___ in the world. Now dear you will write to me as oftain as you can and tell me all that your mother sed in regards to our union. I now think that I will go to Iowa or Kansas in about ten days to look for a place to settle. I have about give up going in to bisness here. The rents are so veary high. I will not be out this week but will be out to see you next week sum. Mollie, Mrs. Jones & another Ladie was out to cottage grove yestarday all day to a picnic. Theay told me last evening that theay had a splendid time. I will ask the same you Dear this time to excuse a short letter. I will write to you again soon and oftain. I remaind as ever your own. Zack P.S. Mr. Bates is here but will start for Wisconsin to night or to morrow to be gone for a few days and when he returns I will be apt to know whether I am going to succeed with Raising the company or not. Well my Dear if I fail I will let the matter rest as it is for a while and settle down with what money I have and with your live I think I can make a living for us.
As Ever yours Zack
Hubbard Place Sunday night June 6th 1869
My fondly Love
I have just returned from church and as I am thinking most of you I will write you a few lines with a pencil. Mollie id down in the Parlor with Mr. Robinson she did not go to church this evening. This has ben a Beautifull day here. I dont know how oftain I have wished that I was with you for I am sure we would have had a nice walk and chat. Well my Dear how does keeping hose go with you. I would like to take a peep at you when you did not know that I was around. I may do it yet before your mother returnes home. I now donít expect to spend more than this week here unless I succeed in forming a company. I donít think that I will spend more than this week trying to form a company if it was only my time I was loosing al would not mind it so much, but it is the heavy expence I am to with my time. My Dear I received a letter from Mr. Wann of New York stating that he had a dispatch from Mrs Wann of M. T. that Mr. Norton was dead. Was ondly sick two hours. It seems hard that we must be cut off so soon but we must all go when we are calld whether we are ready or not. My Dear I truly hope you will do better by me this week than you did last week. I will admit that I did not write veary long letters to you last week but yours was ondly one and a veary short one. Now my Dear you surely cant dout my love for you and yours letters are next to your self to me and I truly think you mite write to me as oftain as twice a week wich would be a great pleasure to me. I think I will be out to see you eny way the last of this week for I now expect to take a trip out in Iowa next week or the week after. I am not sure which yet. I think I will come out by the way of Freeport when I come. Well my Pet I will write to you oftain and I am sure that you will write to me as oftain as you can, wont you. Please excuse my writing with a pencil.
I remain as every yours devotadly. Zack D. Mathuss 211 S. Wather St. Chicago, Ills.
Zack D. Mathuss
211 South Water Street
Care Van Dusen & Sisson
In my Room, June 8th 1869 Tuesday Morning
My Dear Zack
In your letter to me last week you spoke of giving up going into business in Chicago and going to Iowa in about ten days and you also at one time wished very much to go with Man. I had a letter from him last night. Today he and Mother start for Des Moines and will remain there about a week or ten days. Then I think he will start elsewhere. Now Zack if you would like his Company and care make it convenient to go as soon as that you could write to Man at Des Moines and Care of Henry Knouf and he would get it and be delighted with your company as he regretted very much that you could not arrange your business so as to go with him. I think he would wait for you a while if you would write immediately. However it is your own self only to be consulted in this matter as you know better than I what you had better do. I only write this thinking perhaps you might wish to know it, should you start soon. I am right sorry it is so that you cannot stay in Chicago, but after all it probably is a better plan to go west. Man speaks of the Country being beautiful and cheap lands sold near town. He is quite fascinated with the west. Mother is enjoying her visit hugely.
When will you be out to Dixon. I wish Mother could be home when you come for then I would have more time for you as it is I am afraid it may be scarce. However you know Dear Zack I always do the best I can. I am kept quite busy with housekeeping and sewing but we do nicely. I think Motherís leaving is just preparing me nicely for the Keeping of our house for I do lots better than I thought I could. Poor yet, but hope to improve. I have had only one weeks trial. You know experience is the best of teachers.
Well Zack I must not write more this morning for I must write to Mother also. Give my love to Mollie and accept a good share of the same with a kiss for yourself.
As ever, Josie
211 South Water St
Wednesday a.m. June 9th 1869
My own Darling Pet
Your kind letter of the 6th come to hand yestarday and your sweet and good letter of the 8 come duly to hand this a.m. I wrote you on Sunday night but Pet excuse the letter for I felt veary blue and I proverbely sed some things which I should not of sed but if I did I am sure that you will forgive it all. I am surprised that you only received one letter from me last week for I surely wrote you two one on Wednesday and one on Friday. I am glad to hear that your mother and Man has got through all safe. I would like veary much to accompany Man but I want to go further north in Iowa than where he is if I go. I will be out to see you on Saturday I think. Mr. Bates has not got back yet. I expect him tomorrow. Mr. Pimie has returned from Springfield. He could not do eny thing there for me that would bring me ready cash. I will know by Saturday what I can do here in regards to forming a company. I donít think I will spend much more time and money with it just now for this summer will soon be gone and nothing done and I surely want to be settled by August or September at the futhest and as much sooner as I can for I am not contented at all. Now Josie My Dear if you donít want to speak to your father I will save you the courage. I will speak to him for you and my self at the same time when I come out this time or eny other time that you think best. I will haft to eather talk to him or write him soon and why not now is well as ___ for I Truly love you and must know all the objections of your folks if eny. Mollie is coming to Dixon on Thursday or Friday with one of the Crippen girls. Mollie and I was down to Will writes last evening and come up home at haft past nine and I went to my Room and wrote you a short letter and calculated to mail it this a.m. but when I come here and found such a good letter from you I concluded that I would write another one and tare up the one I wrote last night. I think I will go out to Freeport on Friday night to see Harrie on some Bisness and come to see you on Saturday evening but pet donít look for me until you see me. This is a veary Rainey day here. Now My Dear let me hear from you soon and oftain and I will not find falt with you for not writin but one veary short letter last week. I think you must of felt blue like my self last week. I did not feel blue on account of your short letter all together but that & Bisness together made me feel out of sorts but I will try and look at the Brite side in future. When you write to your mother & Man give them my kindest regards also your folks at home.
Your Zack a Kiss
ďEmpireĒ Mutual Life Insurance Co, of New York
General Agency for
Northern Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin
164 Washington Street Chicago
Orin C. Frost Manager
June 11th 1869
My own Darling
Your kind letter of yestarday come duly to hand this a.m. I had made up my mind to go to Freeport tonight and to Dixon tomorrow night since you letter come to hand requesting me to not come this week I will not come until some time next week for I want to be with you all I can while there. Mollie left for Dixon yesterday p.m. you request me to let you know by Saturday noon whether I am coming or not. Now the only way you can get this before that time is for me to send it to Dixon by hand and have it droped in the office to night or sent up to you which I will do if posiable. I will send it out by some one of the Rail Road Boys on the Dixon Passenge if I donít see eny one here for Dixon. You see the mail leaves her at (8) a.m. and arrives at Dixon at one P.m. and of corse I cant send it by Marie so that you could get it. Now my Dear I hope to hear from you soon. It is now 11 a.m. and I am in this office writing this so that if I see eny one I will have it ready. The wether is fine. I hope you may have as nice a day for your picnic tomorrow.
I remain as ever yours. Z. D. Mathuss
Zack D. Mathuss
211 South Water Street
Care Van Dusen & Sissen
In my Room Sabbath June 13th 1869
My own Dear Zack
This is a very disagreeable day as the Sailor would say it is Squally wind rain and sunshine! So that it is very disagreeable to be out. I went to church this morning heard an excellent sermon by Mr. Shuck of Lena.
Zack the picnic of yesterday can scarcely be described. I can tell it better than write it. All I will say here, it was a grand affair from beginning to ending especially the later which was slightly dampened.
Mollie is in town but I have not seen her yet. She called yesterday, but did not find me at home. I hope she will stay some time then I can have her come and stay with me part of the time, for while Mother is away I cannot do Justice to her. I look for mothers the last of next week. Then wont I be happy, I guess so.
It is well you did not come out yesterday for the weather has been very bad and we have had company all day today. Will Robinson brought your little note to me on Friday evening. Thanks to both.
Zack you were very kind to relieve me of the trouble of speaking to Father. I think your plan will work best only speak instead of write. You can suit your own conscience as to when. I want to speak to you firs however. When are you going to Iowa? And when will you be to Dixon? I must not write much more today I am not feeling very well and a little rest will do me heaps of good. So I will take a good nap, then go to church come home write a letter to mother and brother and that must complete the day.
Goodbye. With much love and many kisses. Josie
Hubbard Place June 14th 1869
My own Darling
I now expect to come out to see you on Wednesday. I will make my note short as I am coming to see you so soon and you know that I can talk much better than I can write. Mr. Pinnie & wife left here to day for Montana. I thought that I would like to go with them but My Dear I would much rather be nearer to you until we are married and then I will have you with me where ever I go. I hope you had a nice time for your Picnic and had a nice time. I would of liked to of ben one of the number. I sent you a note by Mr. Robinson which he promised me should be delivered on Friday evening. It was only chance to get it to you before Saturday noon as you requested. I expect a good sweet letter from you tomorrow morning. I remain as ever your own. Zack P.S. I hope you and Mollie will have a nice visit. I would like veary much if Harrie and I could of ben in Dixon while Mollie was thare and your Mother had of ben home. We would have had a nice time.
As ever yours. Zack
Zack D. Mathuss
211 South Water Street
Care Van Dusen & Sisson
Dixon, June 18th 1869 Thursday Morning
Last night I took from fathers pocket among other letters of his a letter from you written the first of June. I beg pardon for accusing you for neglecting me as I really supposed you had, for I received no letter from you the first week and of course thought it very strange. When you come to Dixon you will probably leave Chicago for good. I am going to ask you not to come until you do as you are to go west. It seems unnecessary for you to return again. Saturday afternoon I am going to attend a boat ride picnic. There are but four couple we go up the rive in a boat, then land some where and eat our grub and have a good time then come down the river home. I think it will be grand. It has been talked about for some time but could not be rightly arranged till now. If you are to be home I shall feel reluctant about going, would rather spend the afternoon with you, but do not believe you will come till next week. Let me know immediately please so I will have the letter before Saturday noon. I would like to see you very very much but would rather have you come next week than this for I am to have company over Sunday and that would spoil our plans somewhat you know.
Zack you may think it strange for me to write for you not to come so often but I never do it unless for the good or pleasure of both. You know my time is hindered now and I am my own mistress no longer. I should not go to the picnic on Saturday if Nellie had not persuaded me to do so as I have been out but very little for the past month. Please excuse these scraps of paper but I am now out of the ___ and this is the best I can do this morning. I was very much pleased with Mrs. Bates note. Will give it to you when I see you. Write soon to one who loves you muchly.
As ever Josie
June 21st 1869
My own Darling Except this Ring with all of true love and meny kisses.
Zack in hast
Office of Jones & Powers,
Dealers in Foreign and Domestic
Groceries, Coffee, Tea, Preserves, Canned Fruit, Fish, Meats, &c.
June 23rd 1869
My own Darling
I arrived here this a.m. at 4 oíclock find Harri well and every thing looks brite. I went down and sent the evening at D. B. McKenneys and then went up to the Nachusa House and took a nap before train time. My Dear I am not feeling veary well but I hope I will be all o.k. in a day or two. I will write you oftain. Harri is coming to Dixon tomorrow to see his Darling.
I think I will stop in here excuse a short note this time and write oftain to your own Zack care Jones & P. Except all of my true love & meny kisses.